Scotland's ancient asteroid impact

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brian livesey
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Location: Lancashire

Scotland's ancient asteroid impact

Post by brian livesey »

Around 1.2 billion years ago, a half-mile diameter asteroid slammed into what is now Scotland in the village of Ullapool area. Geologists uncovered evidence for this in 1980. Now a team from Oxford University claims to have pinpointed the exact site of the impact in the Minch Basin, 12 miles north west of Ullapool. At the time of the impact, life was confined to the seas with no plant life on the land.
The Oxford team was led by Dr. Ken Amor of the university's Department of Earth Sciences, who said: "The material excavated during a giant meteorite [ asteroid?] impact is rarely preserved on Earth, because it is rapidly eroded, so this is a really exciting discovery....It was purely by chance that this one landed in a rift valley, where fresh sediments quickly covered the debris to preserve it...The next step will be a detailed geophysical survey in our target area of the Minch Basin." - Journal of the Geological Society.
A geological study in 2016 had suggested that the centre of the crater was located beneath the village of Lairg in Sutherland. In this earlier study, it was estimated that the crater produced by the impact was 25 miles in diameter. At that time, Scotland was part of a semi-arid landmass, near to the equator.

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